CFN – Apparently this is Fraud Prevention Month according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. It would appear that in celebration of that someone has come up with a particularly appealing fraud during tax season. Just today I received an email supposedly from the Canada Revenue Agency telling me that they made a mistake on my last return and want to refund me $800.
The following is the text that was sent me but I didn’t include the CRA logo that came along with it. There was also a link to a realistic web site that mimics the style of CRA web pages. It was very convincing.
Claim Your Tax Refund Online
We identified an error in the calculation of your tax from the last payment, amounting
to a 804,49$. In order for us to return the excess payment, you need to create a Tax Gateway account after which the funds will be credited to your specified bank account.
Please click “Get Started” below to claim your refund:
We are here to ensure the correct tax is paid at the right time, whether this relates to payment of taxes received by the department or entitlement to benefits paid.
I mean, getting unexpected money back from the CRA, nothing could be sweeter right? I soon realized that this seemed too good to be true so I found the 1-800 number for the CRA and called them. The agent I talked to told me it was a scam. The CRA would not send out emails in that manner asking for information. They already know everything about you. Someone was trying to get information about my bank account so they could drain it.
A call to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre found an automated message saying that they know about the CRA Phishing fraud and to delete the email and definitely do not give away any information. If you had unfortunately filled out the request for information then stay on the line and someone would take your information and try to help you.
A lot of these types of fraud can be very compelling but neither government departments nor banks will ever ask you for personal information in an email. If you don’t believe that kind hearted philanthopist in Nigeria that wants to give you $10,000,000 then you shouldn’t reply to this type of phishing scam either.
Information about about the popular forms of fraud and how to avoid it can be found on the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre web site.